Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

CPHA’s Normalizing Conversations project launched a survey in 2021 to learn how Canadian public health, public safety, and health and social service professionals define and implement a public health approach to substance use. The survey findings provide an understanding of key stakeholder beliefs, attitudes, knowledge levels, and access to information about substance use.

To support the implementation of a public health approach, CPHA partnered with the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (CEWH) to create and publish the Public Health Approach to Substance Use Handbook. This resource describes and illustrates the key principles of this approach, with relevant tools for future work.

In this webinar, CPHA, Dr. Tara Marie Watson, Dr. Nancy Poole, Dr. Lorraine Greaves, and Danielle Kouri from the project’s Expert Reference Group explore perspectives on a public health approach to substance use and discuss its challenges and opportunities for implementation.


Dr. Tara Marie Watson (she/her), earned her PhD in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. Her longstanding research interests include drug policy, harm reduction, and community- and prison-based substance use and mental health services. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with years of experience in knowledge translation and dissemination. Dr. Watson is currently the Associate Director of the Research Program at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine. 

Dr. Nancy Poole (she/her), PhD is the Director of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, a research and knowledge exchange centre hosted by BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. In that role she leads network development, research and knowledge exchange related to improving policy and service provision on gender and women’s health. In 2021 Nancy was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Justice Institute of BC in recognition of her contributions to women’s health, including trauma-informed practice and the treatment of substance use and addiction. 

Dr. Lorraine Greaves (she/her), PhD is a medical sociologist and Senior Investigator at the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health in Vancouver, and its founding Executive Director. She has worked in academic, government, education and NGO settings in British Columbia and Ontario. She is a Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC and an expert in sex, gender and tobacco, cannabis, alcohol, substance use, violence, and trauma. She focuses on the development and integration of sex and gender science, and SGBA+ in research, care, health promotion and policy. She is Chair on the Scientific Advisory Committee on Women’s Health Products, and previously a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Vaping Products. 

Danielle Kouri (she/they), B.Soc.Sc is the Outreach Coordinator at St. Leonard’s Society of Canada (SLSC), a national charitable organization dedicated to promoting humane and informed criminal and social justice policy and practice. She is particularly passionate about supporting the work of halfway houses, the community reintegration of people exiting prisons, and amplifying the voices of people with lived experience of justice system involvement. Danielle has an Honours Bachelor of Social Science in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. She is also part of a volunteer group that supports individuals serving life sentences in both a maximum and a medium security institution.